In a gaming scene that has made violence and modern warfare hip and trendy, it’s a bit of a risk to develop a game that seeks to show war for what it really is: ugly, miserable, and winner-less. Fortunately, This War of Mine, a game that is precisely that, has proven many wrong, as developer 11 Bit Studios have announced that their recently released game became profitable a mere two days after release.
This War of Mine is what many gaming journalists have described as a war-torn version of The Sims. You are allotted a set of survivors whose various needs must be attended to, and at the conclusion of each day, a survivor must be chosen to venture out into the city to scavenge for supplies. As the below infographic from 11 Bit shows, only 11% of players managed to successfully get through the game.
Despite this level of attrition, gamers have responded with their wallets to TWoM‘s different take on war; the game has remained at the top of Steam’s top seller list since it was launched on November 14, and commands a rare “Overwhelmingly Positive” reception from its audience.
11 Bit’s senior writer Pawel Miechowski, speaking to Eurogamer, said:
Of course we’re happy with commercial success, but most of all we are happy with great feedback from gamers and from reviewers.
Games are all around us since decades so the creators and community perceive them as natural/popular form of storytelling. And so you could see it in Papers, Please or Gods Will Be Watching – these are games that tackle really well with serious topics through their fantastic gameplay. And we had the feeling we were making this experience in a right way.
But that doesn’t mean we were sure This War of Mine would be commercially and critically acclaimed. Not at all. You never know how eventually a game will do when released. So now we’re very happy to see so many supportive words from the community, especially if you consider that This War of Mine is a serious experience.
The game has meanwhile received a steady stream of updates, including a recent one that added new songs that can be heard over the in-game radio, improved animations and locations and different dweller setups for more replayability.
Miechowski also mentions that the team are looking to expand on This War of Mine, but whether that is through additional content, a sequel or DLC is currently unknown; an announcement should be made this December. In the meantime, a tablet version of the game is planned for a 2015 release.